Yahoo Mail History
One of the longest-standing Web mail services, Yahoo Mail has 273 million email accounts -- 81 million in the United States -- as of 2014, according to comScore. Yahoo Mail started in 1997 when Yahoo acquired and rebranded RocketMail. At the time, Yahoo Mail accounts offered a mere 4MB of storage space. Yahoo has improved and expanded the service over the years, competing with other free email providers including Google's Gmail, launched in 2004, and Microsoft's Outlook.com, launched in 1996 as Hotmail. As of publication, Yahoo Mail offers a full terabyte of space: enough for practically limitless text emails and a huge library of attachments.
Every Yahoo ID includes a Yahoo email address, as well as access to other Yahoo services such as Yahoo Calendar, Yahoo Groups and Flickr. If you use one of these services, you already have a Yahoo Mail account; just click Mail on the Yahoo home page to open it. To start a new, free Yahoo account for email and other Yahoo services, click Sign In and then click Create Account.
In order to expand email address options, Yahoo used to offer email addresses as with @rocketmail.com and @ymail.com domains. As of publication, however, new subscribers can choose only an @yahoo.com address.
Outside the U.S., Yahoo offers country-specific domains, such as @yahoo.co.uk in the United Kingdom.
Yahoo Mail Versions
Yahoo has two versions of the Yahoo Mail website, basic and full-featured. The full-featured version, used by default, has various improvements over the basic version, including spell checking, formatting options and photo slideshows.
Most people should stick to the full-featured site, but if your system lags, freezes or fails while trying to run the site -- if you have a very old computer, a low-resolution monitor or a dial-up connection -- switch to the basic version for a simpler, faster-loading email service. Open the Settings menu with the gear icon, click Settings and open the Viewing Email tab. Choose the Basic mail version and click Save.
To change back, just click Switch to the Newest Yahoo Mail in the corner of any page while using the basic version.
Basic Version Limitations
With the basic version of Yahoo Mail, you're limited to typing in plain text. The basic version does support attachments, but you can't drag and drop files to attach them, and attached photos won't appear as thumbnails in the email. Changing to the basic version won't cause you to lose any data, however; change back to the full-featured version to regain access to the other features.
Ad Free Mail
Yahoo doesn't charge home users for any email features, but does display ads on Yahoo Mail pages. To get rid of the ads, subscribe to Ad Free Mail. As of publication, Ad Free Mail costs $49.99 per year. Subscribing also prevents your account from being deactivated or deleted due to inactivity. To join, open the Settings menu on the full-featured site and choose Ad Free Mail.
To use Yahoo Mail for your company's email accounts, subscribe to Yahoo Business Mail. In addition to the features of an Ad Free Mail account, Business Mail includes a custom domain name, unlimited storage space and 24-hour customer support. As of publication, Yahoo Business Mail costs $34.95 annually per email address or $9.95 monthly for unlimited email addresses on one domain.